July 4, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
USA At 244 Years Old
Americans could not celebrate their 244th birthday at a more momentous time this Independence Day today July 4, 2020. It was July 4, 1776 that the Independence Declaration was signed between Britain and it’s rebel territory now known as the USA with 52 states spread over a large land mass.
Bloody Civil War
It was after a bloody Civil war triggered by the refusal of this British overseas territory to pay what it described as “Oppressive Taxes for tea that led to what is now known as the “Boston Tea Party”. The rest is history. It was a very bloody encounter.
In contrast when Jamaica got its Independence from Britain on the 6th August 1962 not a drop of blood was spilled. There was consultation and not confrontation. Food for thought.
George Floyd’s Death … BLM
The death of an unarmed black man at the hands of a racist police gang of four led by Derek Chauvin has led to the reenergizing of the Black Lives Matter movement. A number of mainly peaceful demonstrations have revolutionized
the thinking of race relations in the USA. It is with this backdrop that today’s 4th July independence celebrations are being held. A momentous time indeed.
It is also a time when, many see Donald Trump as a racist leaning president who idolizes symbols of racism and wanting to preserve statues of enslavers and the monuments erected to them. Trump has even referred to demonstrators as “mobs” and “looters.”. Threatening to evoke the 1807 Insurrection Act, which would authorize him to bring out Federal Troops and even the army to crush peaceful demonstrations.
Confederacy was the era when slave owners mainly down South like Virginia fought to keep black people enslaved. Those Confederate flag are being taken down and monuments to presidents like Abraham Lincoln who not only owned slaves, but sexually assaulted and raped female slaves … are being toppled from their pedestals and carted away.
This Independence celebration is marred by the ever rising death rate from the COVID 19 Pandemic which has placed the USA with the highest amount of infections in the world. With 4 percent of world population and 25 percent of all deaths. Two million infections and almost 130,000 deaths. What is most alarming is that the President has refused to lead by example by refusing to wear a mask. The scientists advise that wearing a mask slows infections along with social distancing and sound sanitation by regular hand washing.
The poor leadership by the Trump administration has been a real problem facing the American people. Sad indeed! Jamaica has been highly praised for their leadership with only 10 deaths and less than 800 infections. Mask wearing has been mandatory in Jamaica. Bravo!
We say happy birthday to the United States of America on attaining it’s 244 anniversary of independence.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior National & International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper.